The Program in the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World (CLAW) at the College of Charleston was established in 1994 to promote scholarship and public engagement with the history and culture of the Lowcountry, the Atlantic World, and the connections between the two. CLAW’s mission is to place Charleston and the surrounding Lowcountry region in a broader international context by fostering research and educational outreach that illuminates the ongoing connections and cultural exchange among various Atlantic cultures, societies, and ethnicities in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas.
Since its founding, CLAW has organized and hosted numerous academic conferences, and its publication series with the University of South Carolina Press has issued multiple volumes. In addition, each semester faculty and community partners affiliated with CLAW arrange a range of events that include public lectures, faculty seminars, and co-sponsored symposia with local cultural heritage organizations. CLAW has also been involved in promoting of physical and digital exhibitions and that promote robust education outreach.
The Program aims to carry out its mission by assisting and providing a variety of activities and resources. Highlights include:
- CLAW Conferences
- The Carolina and Atlantic World Research Guide is maintained by the College of Charleston Libraries and directs researchers to resources on the topic of the Carolina region and its connection to the Atlantic World.
- The Lowcountry Digital Library documents the history and culture of the lowcountry region of South Carolina through the digitization of rare documents, photographs, and other cultural heritage materials. LCDL’s mission is to cultivate the creation of digital information in appropriate formats across disciplines in support of scholarly inquiry. In order to provide a well rounded digital collection, the library works with partner institutions in a collaborative manner to ensure the overall quality of it’s content. Moreover, it provides professional training and support for archive, library, and museum professionals throughout the region.
- The After Slavery digital exhibit and educator resources are intended as online resources for those who want to understand that momentous effort – and its defeat – as formerly enslaved people and their adversaries contested the meaning and scope of freedom after the American Civil War. Aimed at historians and aspiring historians of slave emancipation and its aftermath, the site is a collaborative work-in-progress involving a team of four scholars based in the United States, Ireland and the United Kingdom, whose current research is focused on labor, race and citizenship in the post-emancipation Carolinas.
- The Lowcountry Digital History Initiative project (LDHI) is a digital public history project hosted by the Lowcountry Digital Library (LCDL) at the College of Charleston. Funded through a pilot project grant from the Humanities Council of South Carolina and a major grant award from the Dorothy and Gaylord Donnelley Foundation, LDHI serves as a digital consultation service, scholarly editorial resource, and online platform for partner institutions and collaborative scholars to translate multi-institutional archival materials, historic landscape features and structures, and scholarly research into digital public history exhibition projects.